Two weeks ago, the asters and Mexican marigolds were still in bloom. Mother Nature can so easily lull Northern California gardeners into false hope of early spring. The narcissus have flowered, the tulips, hyacinths and iris are rapidly making their way. But grey skies and a cold north wind blew in today, with the promise of a hard freeze Monday night.
I was there early for puppy duty. German Shepherd, Annie and her newborns are just visiting. Found stray and very pregnant, she was sent to the shelter. Shelters don’t generally do newborn puppies. Our local GSD rescue pulled her, but reliant on fosters, they had never whelped puppies before. We offered to see her through the birth and their first few weeks before they move to their foster home. Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning, our volunteers sat vigil. She birthed six beautiful babies and took to mothering immediately.
Puppy duty at this young age is not hard. It is more about being available to mom for frequent feedings, some cleaning, potty trips and breaks – leaving plenty of time to prepare the garden for the cold ahead.
New shoots and tender perennials are now blanketed in straw.
The sparrows believe it is theirs to nest in.
We began our rescue year with the walking wounded. Broken and fractured pelvises, traumatic nerve damage, one fractured vertebrae; one fractured femur, and a torn ACL. Cars and dogs don’t mix.
My current foster could be counted among them – but his issues are hereditary not inflicted.
At just a few months of age, he was diagnosed with severe hip dysplasia. Skye traveled a very long way for our help. He has interest from lots of potential adopters who want to bring him home once fixed – but so far, no one who meets our criteria has stepped up to see him through two FHO surgeries and months of recovery.
So, Skye is hanging out with us. He will have his first surgery on February 10 and his days of torturing his big foster brother Yogi will be over. Despite the abuse, I know where I will find Yogi when we bring Skye home hurting and sad: sleeping right by his side.
Note to potential adopters: four months is a long time not to fall in love with a dog. We are not looking for dog number three – but just saying!
Bundle up your tender fruit trees and plants, my Northern California gardener friends. And to those of you back east – you can stop laughing at us. Revenge is ours. Just wait for February!